Season to get under way with opening round of 22ft sailing championship on September 14

Dubai: The Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) has set out to maximise on the country’s coastline after unveiling yet another ambitious annual watersports calendar for the 2018-19 season.

Set to open with the first round of the 22-foot (6.7-metre) sailing championship on September 14, the watersports calendar will wind up with the 29th Al Gaffal 60-foot (18.2-metre) race between the Sir Bu Na’air Island and Dubai’s coast on April 13.

The watersports calendar has been held annually with DIMC at Mina Seyahi as the hub.

The DIMC board of directors met under the chairmanship of Ahmad Saeed Bin Meshar Al Muhairi and ratified the watersports events for the new season starting next month.

Over the past two years, watersports activities in the Mina Seyahi area have been curtailed following the decision of the government to facilitate the construction of the Dubai Harbour project by real estate developer Meraas.

Despite the activity, the DIMC has managed to organise its range of watersports activities on a regular basis.

“On the contrary, we have been able to increase the number of watersports events on the annual calendar,” Mohammad Abdullah Hareb, board member and CEO of DIMC, told Gulf News after attending the meeting of the DIMC board.

“There are several projects going on along the Dubai coastline, but we have to work around these and ensure our events do not get affected. And that is precisely what the board has voted for during the pre-season meeting,” he added.

During the course of the season, each of the 22ft (6.7m), 43ft (13.1m) and 60ft (18.2m) sailing championships will consist of three rounds.

Meanwhile, there will be four rounds on the 30ft rowing championships.

After experimenting last season, DIMC has added a couple of new activities to its annual calendar including three rounds of the Dubai Fishing Championship and a couple of Kite Surfing tours.

“We also want to ensure we don’t leave out any discipline of watersports including the highly-popular modern sailing as it is part of the Olympic Movement,” Hareb said.

“Hosting such a variety of events is going to be the real challenge, and for this we will need to maximise our efforts and spread out hosting the events along the generous coastline of Dubai. In all likelihood we will look at organising at least a couple of races at the Dubai Creek,” he related.

2018-19 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS

Three rounds of 60ft sailing

Three rounds of 43ft sailing

Three rounds of 22ft sailing

Four rounds of 30ft rowing

Three rounds of UAE Speedboat Championships

Four rounds of modern sailing

Three rounds of Dubai Fishing Championships

Two tours of Kite Surfing

2018-19 CALENDAR

September 14: 22ft Dubai Traditional Dhow Sailing Race; 22: 43ft Dubai Traditional Dhow Sailing Race; 28: Dubai Traditional Rowing Race.

October 6: 43ft Dubai Traditional Dhow Sailing Race (Round 2); 12: Dubai Traditional Rowing Race (Round 2); 20: 43ft Dubai Traditional Dhow Sailing Race (Round 3); 27: 22ft Dubai Traditional Dhow Sailing Race (Round 2).

November 3: Dubai Modern Sailing Championship; 10: Dubai Traditional Rowing Race (Round 3).

December 8: Dubai Fishing Competition (Round 1) and Maktoum Cup Traditional Rowing Race (Round 4); 15: 60ft Dubai Traditional Dhow Sailing Race (Round 2).

January 12: UAE Waterbike Series; 18: Dubai Fishing Competition (Round 2); 19: UAE Wooden Powerboat Championship (Round 1); 26: UAE Waterbike Series (Round 2).

February 2: UAE Wooden Powerboat Championship (Round 2); 9: UAE Waterbike Series (Round 3); 15: Dubai Modern Sailing Championship (Round 2); 16: 22ft Dubai Traditional Dhow Sailing Race (Round 3); 22: Dubai Kite Surf Competition (Round 1); 23: Dubai Modern Sailing Championship (Round 3).

March 2: Dubai Fishing Competition (Round 3); 8: Dubai Kite Surf Competition (Round 2); 9: Dubai Modern Sailing Championship (Round 4); 15: UAE Wooden Powerboat Championship (Round 3); 16: 60ft Dubai Traditional Dhow Sailing Race (Round 2).

April 13: 29th Al Gaffal Race for 60ft dhows.

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